Sweet and sticky baked teriyaki chicken smothered in homemade teriyaki sauce is a flavorful and easy weeknight dinner. Have this oven-baked spin on classic chicken teriyaki ready to serve over rice in 30 minutes!
If you love Japanese-style recipes like this one, also try my crispy Chicken Katsu.
The Best Ever Baked Teriyaki Chicken
Forego the bottled teriyaki sauce and reach for some easy pantry items. Tonight, we’re making the BEST Asian-inspired weeknight chicken teriyaki. This recipe puts an oven-baked, garlicky twist on traditional Japanese teriyaki chicken, and the results are delish. These baked chicken breasts turn out mouthwateringly sticky, sweet, and tangy, coated in an easy homemade sauce.
If you’re asking me, this homemade chicken teriyaki holds a flame to even my favorite food court takeout. Right up there with my Chinese-inspired General Tso’s chicken. I think I’ll keep them coming!
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
- Quick to make. On nights when you need dinner on the table ASAP, this baked teriyaki chicken has you covered. It’s fast, easy, and out of the oven in 30 minutes.
- Homemade sauce. The tender chicken cooks up perfectly in the silky homemade teriyaki sauce. The delicious sweet and tangy, umami flavors will make you want to drink the sauce by the glass. It’s that good. And it’s crazy simple to make.
- Easy clean-up. The chicken bakes altogether with the sauce in one pan. I like to thicken up the sauce in a skillet on the stovetop afterwards, for a grand total of two dishes. And if you have an oven-safe skillet that’s large enough, you could easily make this into a one-pan dinner. Either way, there’s hardly any clean-up!
What Is Teriyaki Sauce?
Teriyaki sauce is a sweet and sticky Japanese-inspired sauce that you can smother over everything from chicken to baked salmon for a hit of umami flavor. This better-than-bottled homemade teriyaki sauce recipe combines honey, low-sodium soy sauce, amino-rich rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger and then thickens everything with cornstarch.
Teriyaki recipes sometimes call for sake, a type of Japanese rice wine, but I make my weeknight chicken teriyaki with natural Rice Vinegar, which tastes just as good!
What’s the Best Chicken to Use?
Chicken teriyaki works best with skinless, boneless chicken. I make this recipe with whole, boneless chicken breasts, but you can also make teriyaki chicken thighs if you prefer. You may need to adjust the baking time, as thighs take slightly longer to cook.
How to Make Teriyaki Chicken In the Oven
Get those ovens preheated to a hot 425ºF, we’re about to bake the most delicious chicken teriyaki to ever grace your dinner table. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for a full ingredient list and detailed instructions.
- Prepare the chicken. First, lightly pound your chicken breasts to get them an even thickness for baking. Afterward, arrange the chicken pieces in a greased baking dish and cover them with thinly sliced yellow onions. The onions become soft and caramelized in the sauce and add loads of flavor!
- Make a sauce. Next, whisk together your teriyaki sauce ingredients (apart from the cornstarch and water for now). Pour this all over the chicken in the pan, making sure everything is evenly coated.
- Bake. Bake the chicken at 425ºF for about 30 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate for serving. Set this aside for the moment. We’re about to turn those leftover pan drippings into a finger-licking teriyaki sauce!
- Finish and serve. Add the leftover sauce to a saucepan on the stovetop. Stir in a slurry of cornstarch and water, simmering until it thickens. Finally, spoon the teriyaki sauce all over the chicken. If you’d like, garnish your teriyaki chicken with sesame seeds and green onions and then serve it over rice. See below for more ideas.
Tips for Success
I’m sure you’re going to love this easy dinner as much as I do. Here are some final tips for the best teriyaki chicken:
- Check that the chicken is done. The easiest way to tell if your chicken is done cooking is to take the temperature using an instant-read thermometer. It should read 165ºF at the thickest part of the breast.
- If your teriyaki sauce is too thick, add a spoonful of water at a time to help loosen it up, until it reaches the right consistency.
- Sesame seeds and green onions are optional but recommended for garnishing the finished dish.
- To make this a one-pan recipe, bake the chicken in an oven-safe skillet. Afterward, simply transfer the skillet to the stovetop, remove the chicken, and whisk the slurry right into the sauce.
Can I Marinate the Chicken Ahead of Time?
For sure. If you’d like to get a head start on this tasty chicken teriyaki recipe, pour the sauce over the chicken, cover it, and let it marinate in the fridge up to 24 hours in advance.
Teriyaki sauce is sweet and mild, with complex tangy and salty flavors from the rice vinegar and soy sauce. If you’d prefer your sauce a little spicy, go ahead and stir in chili sauce or freshly minced chilies for a bit of kick.
Absolutely! You can repurpose the sauce in this recipe as a marinade, a glaze for meats or veggies, or as a stir-fry sauce.
I’ve found that the best way to thicken this teriyaki sauce is with a cornstarch slurry, like the one I use in this recipe. If you’d prefer to skip the slurry, you can simmer the sauce for longer so that it reduces.
Nope, no need! This Asian-style chicken recipe is fine to bake in the oven uncovered, and it still turns out delicious and juicy.
What to Serve With Chicken Teriyaki
This is one of those dishes that works perfectly on its own with a side of salad. But what Asian-inspired dinner doesn’t benefit from a mound of fluffy white rice? Here are more ways to turn your teriyaki chicken into a weeknight feast:
- Rice Bowls. Teriyaki chicken rice bowls are an easy meal and so yummy! Serve your baked chicken over rice alongside tender steamed or roasted broccoli or sesame snap peas.
- Kani Salad. Creamy Japanese kani salad is ready in 20 minutes, the perfect side for chicken teriyaki.
- Cucumber Salad. Try my spicy Asian cucumber salad that’s absolutely packed with flavor for a light, fresh side dish.
- Noodles. Saucy chicken and noodles? It’s a yes from me (always). Try my teriyaki noodles or these low-carb stir fry zucchini noodles.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Fridge: This teriyaki chicken can be kept with the sauce in an airtight container. Store leftover chicken teriyaki in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat the chicken in the microwave or on the stovetop until hot throughout. If needed, you can sprinkle some water over the top to help loosen up the sauce again.
- Freezer: Baked teriyaki chicken freezes well. Once the chicken has cooled completely, store it airtight and freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost the chicken in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Asian-Inspired Recipes
- Asian Glazed Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Szechuan Chicken
- Easy Kung Pao Chicken
- Salt and Pepper Chicken
Chicken Teriyaki Recipe
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup Natural Rice Vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- sliced green onions, for garnish
- prepared rice, optional
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Grease a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, but do not pound them thin.
- Arrange the chicken breasts on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Add sliced onions over the chicken and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger; whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken; make sure that the chicken is nestled down in the sauce.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165˚F degrees.
- Remove from oven and transfer the chicken and cooked onions to a serving platter. Set aside.
- Transfer the remaining teriyaki sauce from the baking dish to a frying pan or a saucepan set over medium-high heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the cold water and cornstarch until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.
- Pour the cornstarch mixture into the teriyaki sauce and whisk to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and let boil for about 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from heat and spoon the sauce over the chicken.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
- Serve over rice.
- Chicken: I used chicken breasts, but you can also use boneless chicken thighs. No matter what you use, make sure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly by checking for a 165ºF internal temperature at the thickest part.
- If the teriyaki sauce is too thick, add a couple of spoonfuls of water to reach the desired consistency.
- For a one-pan approach, bake chicken in an oven-safe skillet and whisk the slurry into the sauce post-baking.
- The chicken can be marinated in the sauce for up to 24 hours in advance.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container, reheating in the microwave or stovetop with a sprinkle of water if needed. You can also freeze the chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 months, defrosting overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.